Hosting the perfect Summer Garden Party

It’s time for a Summer Garden Party

Whether you have held a Summer Garden Party in the past or this is your first you are probably looking for ways to ensure everything goes smoothly.

summer party food

Here are some great ideas to make your event just that little bit different and special – after all, you want to impress your guests right? Also you want your party to be the one they remember and talk about at any future gatherings.

Below you will find our top 7 important factors from date setting to choosing a theme for your Summer Garden Party. Have we missed anything? What has worked well for you in the past? Let us know your thoughts and top tips in the comments area below.

Summer Garden Party calendarSet The Date

Get a date in mind, for example a bank holiday weekend when people don’t have to hurry home to get ready for work the next day and check with that your most important friends are free, invites by text or email work better so you can keep track of replies and get people to confirm their attendance. For a special occasion, like a Birthday, Anniversary, Christening, you can also send save the date cards, well in advance. Asking people to RSVP is really important, as having an idea of numbers will mean you can accurately cater for the right amount of people, as there is nothing worse than too little (or too much) food & drink!

Rainy GardenCheck the Forecast

It would be great if we could simply arrange a summer garden party and rely on clear blue sky and sunshine, but this is the great British summer we are talking about and the weather is one thing you can’t control when planning an outdoor function. If it’s already close to the date you have in mind – check your local Met Office weather report – if its looking dodgy and it has to be on that day or you have planned well in advance then having a backup plan in place in case the heavens open is essential, think about putting up a temporary garden structure like a gazebo or party tent, or for smaller spaces a large garden parasol over your table and chairs. If the forecast is for a chilly evening, look at getting some sort of outdoor heating, like a gas or electric heater, fire bowl or chimenea, and place some blankets around so that guests can snuggle up by the fire and stay snug. Met Office Weather Report

pimms oclockFood & Drink

Along with getting the right atmosphere, having the right Food & Drink is crucial to the success of the perfect garden party, don’t be fooled into thinking you can just throw a few burgers on the BBQ until they start curling at the edges, if people are going to a party they expect a good feed! Along with the traditional burgers, and sausages, put together some homemade kebabs, marinate some chicken, have some jacket potatoes and corn on the cob ready for the health conscious few and don’t forget to check if you have any vegetarians! Not everyone will want to partake in the barbecue so have a selection of snacky bits on a table indoors, include chips and dips, salad bowl, cheese board, homemade chutneys, bread rolls or why not go retro with cheese and pineapple on sticks! People eat with their eyes so they key is to make sure your spread is visually appealing. For drinks, something like a jug of Pimms or a punch bowl gets people talking and is extremely refreshing in the summer. Make sure you have a non-alcoholic option for the kids and the designated drivers.

english garden party themeTheme for your Summer Garden Party

Throwing a summer garden party with a theme can really add to the fun, whether it’s for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, or simply just because the suns out, why not get your guests to make an effort. How about a 1920s Gatsby Theme? Decorate your table with strings of pearls, feathers and twinkly lights, with black and gold coloured table accessories, serve martinis or champagne darling, with finger food such as posh sandwiches (minus the crusts please) and canapés. As its summer how about a Beach Party Theme, cue the Hawaiian shorts, flower leis and grass skirts! Or maybe a Jamaican Theme, play some reggae music, serve up some marinated barbecue chicken and big bowl of tropical punch or fruity cocktails. Then simply sit back and watch as your chosen theme brings out the ‘big kid’ in all your guests.

garden party furnitureFurniture & Seating for your Summer Garden Party

Your guests will need somewhere to sit, if you have a lot of guests than multiple seating areas works well, some people prefer to sit up to a table, especially to eat, whilst others are happy to kick back on an outdoor sofa or lounger and relax. It’s also a good idea to have a couple of smaller tables dotted around for people to place drinks on, one will need to be next to the barbecue as you can guarantee there will be a group of people congregating here, offering advice on the best way to brown a banger!

garden party fire pitsSet the Mood

Why not invest in some oil lamps or lanterns, use them to line the entrance to your garden or dot around your patio to create the perfect atmosphere for your outdoor gathering. Wrap twinkly fairy lights around trees or potted plants and place tea light holders on tables to add to the mood. Cooking for your guests outdoors? How about using a fire bowl with BBQ grill, after you have eaten you can simply remove the grill and load up the firepit with fuel, for you and your guests to sit around, and keep warm into the night, with a glass of wine or two (optional)!, this way when the sun goes down your party will be just getting started! And don’t forget your favourite music and maybe some grown up party games, we are not suggesting you put on agadoo and get your guests up doing the limbo. Some nice background sounds and a few light hearted dinner party games can add to the fun and ensure that your party goes down in the history books!

Don’t forget to enjoy your self!

Putting in the effort getting organised ahead of time will mean that you don’t have to spend the entire time running around after everyone. You want people to feel at home, so show them where everything is when they arrive and leave them to it. Don’t get too hung up on the mess, or worry about how long it’s going to take to get your house back in order. Find some paper cups, plates and serving bowls, there are some pretty, coordinating designs available so will make the big clean up so much easier! Also offer guests any leftover food or drink as they leave, just make sure you’ve put that salted caramel cheesecake back in the fridge! And finally remember you made this party happen, now it’s your duty to be the life and soul of it (if you have the energy)! Now go forth and enjoy!

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